West Penn Township police are investigating a rash of burglaries which occurred early Friday morning in the South Tamaqua Plaza along SR309.

Police Chief Brian Johnson reported that Officer Tom Duarte was on patrol shortly after 1 a.m. when he spotted an individual inside the Stoves & Stuff store in the far north building of the mall. Duarte positioned himself across the roadway and soon two individuals exited the building and attempted to enter the business of R. & L. Construction.

Duarte drove across the road but the duo heard the car and ran to the rear of the mall climbing an embankment and running along the hiking path, one to the north and one to the south.

The officer ran after one of the suspects and did make contact with the person, a male juvenile from Tamaqua, who denied being part of the incident.

In all, eight businesses were entered: Stoves & Stuff; Sundance Vacations; Yellow Book; R. & L. Construction; Mahoning Valley Orthopedics; Locker Room Sports; Calabria Pizza and Pediatrics.

West Penn police forensic officer Jason Lorah was processing the scene for fingerprints and evidence. A list of the items taken was still being compiled.